Post ORIF Recovery: Week 2+
Editor's note: this series is my (Alison's) journal of getting back to things post-fibula break. If you want to read how it happened, see week one. My plan was to update this weekly, but I bored myself so it's less frequent, though I will try to at least track when I'm able to do different things in the coming weeks.
This is day one of not wallowing in self-pity and I’d say it went ok. I was down yesterday and decided to really go for it to try to let the third and fourth stages of grief (anger and bargaining, and depression, reflection, loneliness) pass quickly to move onto the fifth, optimistically called “the upward turn.” [Side note: I just googled the stages to refresh my memory of the order and it’s remarkable how spot on they are. If you’re curious stage one is shock and denial, and stage two is pain and guilt, both of which I experienced in the last two weeks. ] After working as a PT aide and through my massage work, I know that focusing on the positive helps rehab outcomes, so it’s time to be positive. I unloaded the dishwasher today (granted, I had to stop two different times to sit down and put my leg up) and fed the dogs! Well, it’s a start.
Best sleep I’ve had since pre-break last night and I think that made a big difference in how I feel today. I don’t constantly ache and the inflammation seems lower. It snowed a lot yesterday and overnight so I was bummed to not be able to ski behind the house with Sam this morning, but at least it’s really pretty out the windows and the puppy is worn out.
I haven’t taken any kind of pain meds today, which feels like a success. I did have to have my foot in the boot all morning and my foot was pretty swollen when I took it out. The hangboard came! Hopefully Sam can mount it on Sunday when we actually have a day that doesn’t have any plans. I feel so bad that he has to do absolutely everything. I folded laundry yesterday! That’s about it right now, though.
Whoops, missed a couple of days. More ups and downs, and today is definitely a down. Yesterday was the race at the Loup, which Sam had to run totally by himself. I felt awful about that, but also crappy that I couldn't take part in any form of skiing, as it's DUMPING right now. I read Emilie Forsberg’s recovery from her ACL repair a couple of years ago because, you know, I’m just like Emilie Forsberg. She said something about how the bad days were good too because she knew it meant her active life was important to her. I tend to compartmentalize, so that was helpful to read. While I’m not anywhere close to the level that she is, it is important to me to be able to be strong, capable, and active. My injury could definitely be worse, and I’m glad that it’s not. But I also really miss being able to head out and ski or run for a few hours. I also miss being alone. I have Iz almost every minute of every day and this loner is tired. I also have to have someone with me pretty much all the time who is not a baby, to do such things as take the puppy out, take the old dog out, put wood on the fire, etc. I think I officially have cabin fever. [Editor's note: Sam wrote a great recap on the race here.]
Today I went to the gym! PT yesterday was pretty lackluster, which I was expecting, but I know it will get better. I can do range of motion and as much upper body stuff as I want, so today I did what I thought wouldn’t leave me with noodle arms since I need them to locomote. The hangboard is fun/hard, so that will be a good challenge to improve.
Got a massage yesterday and boy did that help. Today the swelling is considerably less, and it’s easier to move. Seth taught me how to use the wonderful iwalk peg leg thing, so that’s GREAT. I can actually be useful around the house. I cleaned yesterday and made food. The pain is less these days which makes the whole thing seem not quite so miserable.
I think there isn’t much out there in terms of people’s recovery because it’s tedious talking or writing about over and over. I appreciate everyone taking interest in how I’m doing, but it’s hard not to make things rosier than they are, or try to come up with something different to say. There is some progress, but there are also setbacks, and I’m still pretty much relegated to the couch, making my back and hip flexors hurt. Whine, whine, whine. I’m tired of writing about it, so I’m sure you’re tired of reading about it. Isabella’s cute. Spending a ton of time with her has been pretty much the only silver lining (that and my stronger triceps, a distant second). The sun is also getting high enough in the sky to come into the windows, which is awesome. I won’t go into the fact that it’s been almost 50 degrees instead of 20…focus on the positive. One more week of non-weight-bearing: I can do this.